It’s always nice to be part of the history. Singapore became the first country to host Formula One Grand Prix night race, and we were there to witness the “kick off” as the first practise session began yesterday.
Thanks to Jong Hai and Lay Ai, we got access to the day one of 2008 F1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. We had planned to “park and ride”, to avoid the traffic congestion. To our surprise, the traffic was pretty light as we cruised from Kallang to Bugis MRT stations. Each time we drove nearer to our ‘park and ride’ stop, we were encouraged to drive further. Eventually we ended up at Funan Digital Mall, which is just a few stone throw away from the race circuit. But lo and behold, we were greeted by a sign board put up just right at the entrance of the car park. The parking rate; $2 per hour, and $8 per hour after the 4th hour. A classic example of how businesses are trying to profit from this multi millions sporting event.
Getting into the circuit was rather hassle free. We entered via gate 4, and was greeted by a long but orderly queue for security check. Once we were in the GP village, we could immediately feel the atmosphere, felt like in a carnival as people were crowding at the various merchandising booths, and munching in some of Singapore famous local hawker food, while waiting for the practice race to start (won’t say it’s one of the best, as we all know where to find the best local hawker food, just not at Padang). As we walked around, we couldn’t help but feel proud as Singaporean. The impressive infrastructure was completed at such high quality in less than a year, and it was no wonder the organiser had won praises from Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo. Singapore has all the while been well recognised for its efficiency and orderly, and you can’t ask for more to advertise Singapore to the world through this spectacular motorsport event.
Once the practice session started, the roar of the F1 engines and explosive sound of the exhausts, got everybody excited like a kid. Everybody were just furiously firing their cameras when the F1 cars were in sight, despite being overwhelmed by the engine’s deafening noise. It was so loud that we could feel enormous pressure on our ear drums, if not for the ear plugs. Sitting on the grand stand could be abit boring after awhile. After all, you see the F1 cars flashing past in split seconds, kind of like “now you see, now you don’t”. We ended up walking round the circuit later, and it was amazing to see how people tried to get the best view of the actions.
In all honesty, Yeez and myself are not really F1 fans, at least not until now. However, like a lot of Singaporeans, I think the hosting of Grand Prix in Singapore created all the actions to wow us, and we are definitely paying more attention to this sport event from now onwards. Nevertheless, it was a memorable night for us to experience this gala event; The 120 decibel engine note that sounds like music note to all F1 fans, the smell of the fuel and burning tires that would have most people clip their noses on normal days, the sight of the million-dollars mean machine flashing past at a third of speed of sound, the carnival-like atmosphere feeling, etc. I’m now starting to look forward for the final race on Sunday 🙂
Here’s just one of many video clips that we had captured, hopefully you can feel the event too…
The rest of the album can be found here
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